The Natural History and Risk Factors for the Development of Food Allergies in Children and Adults

Eric C.K. Lee, Brit Trogen, Kathryn Brady, Lara S. Ford, Julie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: This narrative review explores food allergy prevalence and natural history stratified by life stages, especially in context of evolving knowledge over the last few decades. Recent Findings: The prevalence of food allergy remains highest in early childhood with common food triggers being cow’s milk, soy, hen’s egg, wheat, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, fish, and shellfish. This correlates with certain risk factors especially pertinent in the postnatal period which appear to predispose an individual to developing a food allergy. Some allergies (such as milk and egg) were previously thought to be easily outgrown in early life; however, recent studies suggest increasing rates of persistence of these allergies into young adulthood; the reason behind this is unknown. Despite this, there is also evidence demonstrating that food allergies can be outgrown in adolescents and adults. Summary: An understanding of the paradigm shifts in the natural history of food allergy allows clinicians to provide updated, age-appropriate, and tailored advice for patients on the management and prognosis of food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Allergy and Asthma Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent-onset food allergy
  • Adult-onset food allergy
  • Cow’s milk allergy
  • Egg allergy
  • Natural history of food allergy
  • Persistence of food allergy


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